Levels of phthalate acid esters and sex hormones and their possible sources in traffic-patrol policemen in Chongqing


To investigate the correlation between the air phthalate acid ester (PAE) exposure and serum PAE concentration and the effects of PAE exposure on reproductive health among Chongqing traffic-patrol policemen. In 2013, 32 traffic-patrol policemen working in an area with poor air quality in Chongqing and 28 traffic-patrol policemen working in an area with good air quality were selected. Their blood levels of 14 PAEs and six reproductive hormones were determined. Air samples were collected from four traffic-patrol platforms. The concentrations of 14 PAEs in the air samples were evaluated. All 14 PAEs were detected in the blood samples. The concentrations of seven PAEs in the total suspended particulate, namely, dimethyl phthalate, diethyl phthalate, dibutyl phthalate, bis (2-ethox-yethyl) phthalate, dihexyl phthalate, benzyl butyl phthalate, and bis (2-n-butoxyethyl) phthalate, were positively and significantly associated with the blood levels of these PAEs in the participants. All the sex hormone levels measured here were significantly different between the participants from the two areas. The PAE concentrations in the blood samples were correlated with the reproductive hormone levels in the participants. Air PAE pollution may be a major source of PAE exposure in the traffic-patrol policemen of Chongqing.

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The authors acknowledge all the traffic-patrol policemen who participated in this study.


This project was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 81072262 and 81372944).

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Correspondence to Jose M. Garcia or Ji-an Chen.

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Lu, L., Rong, H., Wu, C. et al. Levels of phthalate acid esters and sex hormones and their possible sources in traffic-patrol policemen in Chongqing. Environ Sci Pollut Res 26, 9005–9013 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-019-04265-4

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  • Phthalate acid esters
  • Traffic-patrol policemen
  • Reproductive health